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DD and her poor GCSE results

(23 Posts)
GrumpyOldHorsewoman Tue 06-Sep-11 14:00:23

We were in the US when DD received her GCSE results via her friend and they are pretty poor (4 C's, the rest at D & E). She did almost no revision, so that hardly surprises me. She seems surprised though, and quite annoyed that friends did better than she did.
She has been adamant for the past year that she is not going to go into 6th form (don't think she did well enough to be offered a place anyway) but now I just don't know what to do with her. She is a 16-year old know-all who thinks she can skip the hard work part of life and move directly to a fulfilling career. I see her as someone who bolted school at the earliest opportunity and is not mauture enough yet to deal with life away from education. She is intelligent but lazy and I'm at my wits end to know what happens with her now. At the moment she is "working" for us and hanging around at home the rest of the time. We are in a fairly isolated country location and, in addition to my concerns at her lack of education, I am also worried that she will lose touch with her friends and miss out on being a proper teenager - socialising instead with the much older people we employ (whole different set of challenges with that, too).
Aaaaaaarghhhhh! As if I didn't already have enough to worry about - she needs a reality check and I don't know what to do next.

drcrab Tue 06-Sep-11 14:04:05

does she know what she wants to do then? Does she have any 'talents' that aren't necessarily academic (ie, no need to get into 6th form and beyond to be a success in)? Can she get a real job in a shop/factory/office so that she knows what real life is? Can she do an 'internship' with friends/family in the area that she wants to work in (cook/media/film/website design/blogging/marketing/childcare..?)?

Do you have a friend/family who she particularly likes that she can maybe talk to so that they may be able to get out of her what she really wants to do? does her school have a careers service that she can look at?

AMumInScotland Tue 06-Sep-11 14:09:38

I think you need to get tough and not do anything for her - don't let her "work" for you and assume that's enough. Make her go to the job centre and find herself a real job. And make her sign on if she can't find anything, and give you most of it to cover her bed & board.

If she thinks she's a grown up, let her cope with the stuff that grown ups have to cope with. Then when she has woken up a bit, try to have a polite calm conversation about what she is going to do next.

And don't worry about her social life - when she can afford one, she can have one!

exoticfruits Tue 06-Sep-11 14:22:08

I agree with AMumInScotland. Let her have a reality check. You will probably find she will go back to college in a year and do the exams again. The only way to learn, in her case, is the hard way. (cushion it and you just delay it all).

Amaretti Tue 06-Sep-11 14:29:49

Yup. Reality of adult life is what she needs to understand. Send her to the job centre.

noblegiraffe Tue 06-Sep-11 14:34:51

Education, employment or training are the options she should be seriously looking at. She needs some sort of careers advice - I think the government shut down Connexions, but the info on how to get help is here

CrosswordAddict Tue 06-Sep-11 16:10:10

I agree with noblegiraffe and Amaretti. Try to act quickly before the "Rot" sets in. Once she stays home for a few weeks it becomes a way of life and she will join the NEETS (not in education employment or training)
Try to get her to attend the local sixth form college if there is one. If not you will just have to make her do something to fill the time until she is ready to settle to a career.
I can only suggest looking locally for something/anything at first to keep her occupied : shop work waiting on in a cafe boarding kennels, farm shop (I gather you are in rural location) Don't think she should work for you as it is a soft option.
Make sure she doesn't stay in bed! grin

puddingbasin Tue 06-Sep-11 17:03:55

Her results are good enough for a BTec Diploma. Does she not have any idea what she wants to do?

GrumpyOldHorsewoman Tue 06-Sep-11 22:05:28

Thanks for the advice everyone. She says she wants to work in our industry (horseracing), but like I said, she thinks she can just skip to the good bit without the hard graft - DH and I have been in the industry over 20 yrs and have only seen results of our really hard work during the past 2 yrs (co-incidentally, about the same time our work became appealing to her!) I also did A levels before I started in 1989 and between my more academic skills and DH's obsessive hard work have got to where we are now. She ignores that fact. I'm hoping she realises what a shit job this can be during the winter and re-thinks her plans. I don't mind her career choice, but she's not ready for it yet.

Talker2010 Tue 06-Sep-11 22:18:32

mrswoodentop Tue 06-Sep-11 22:34:47

Could she do some kind of equestrian studies course .Friends daughter is doing one which is BTec,not sure where you are but they do it at Writtle post 16 and also Easton I think if you are in East Anglia

jgbmum Tue 06-Sep-11 23:32:33

Link to animal centred BTEC courses here - Wiltshire college

Applicants need 4 GCSEs at level D or above, might be of interest to your DD if there is a centre local to you

QTPie Wed 07-Sep-11 00:05:20

If you think that she is serious about following your line of business, then treat her like any other employee and make her start from a position and pay equivalent to her experience and qualifications? Starting from the bottom (I am assuming mucking out and other "early morning" activities etc) will make it "attractive" to do a relevant BTEC or similar (to avoid some of the work). Tell her what your expect of her as an employee (like any other) and suggest ways (relevant courses) that will help her develop.

I stayed in full time education until after my Masters Degree (and then went straight into employment), but am fairly sure that if I had left school early, I would have been required to pay "bed and board" (free bed and board was dependent on full time education...).

If she is serious about going into the family business, she will knuckle down, study hard, pay her way, gain your trust and do you proud.... If not, then she will soon realise that you aren't giving her a free-ride and will buck up her ideas about education or finding a career than she likes.

Good luck.

IwanttobeShirleyValentine Wed 07-Sep-11 00:16:12

Is there anything she is remotely interested in? Has she mentioned anything before she may have fancied doing?

Its not too late for her to go to college this year. I have just started college this year and there are people who have not turned up despite enrolling last week and others who should have enrolled on our oversubscribed course and today our tutors were saying they had spaces to fill (despite last week closing enrolment due to high demand).

Last year I did a totally different course at college as well and 2 people joined the course later. One at the end of September and another the 1st week of October.

College may buy your DD the time to work out what she wants to do with her life. Its different to school and she'll be treated more like an adult than a child. Its worth trying to sell it it to her, rather than her just languishing at home.

Is she interested in Sports? They do sports courses these days leading to all kinds of careers, child care, hair and beauty, travel and tourism (perhaps with college trips abroad). Take a look at your local colleges and see what courses are on offer and see if there is anything you may be able to sell to her that may just float her boat a bit more than school did. Few full time courses are actually all day 5 days per week (alot less to be frank)- try telling her that, it may give her the push to look into it. But do it fast, before its too late for her to get on and catch up on any course.

Good luck.

cory Wed 07-Sep-11 08:04:06

I would do one of two things:


what QTPie suggests- let her start at the bottom and treat her like any other employee, but show her how she can develop in time


inform her that actually you do not currently need another unskilled employee and will therefore be unable to employ her- again, this is the reality of the labour market: you will only get a job if somebody needs you to do that job

AlpinePony Wed 07-Sep-11 08:12:01

I would echo others, treat as any other employee meaning staff digs/responsible for own washing. Novelty might wear off fast! Especially given even getting in to town to buy a magazine/deodorant will be a pita!

Ps if you have to fire her, can I come please? Too fat for flat sorry.

mummytime Wed 07-Sep-11 08:21:41

I would get her a job with another stables with no owners privileges. She would quickly learn what hard work is, and discover if it is what she wants to do. Plus she will gain very valuable experience if it is the career for her. Maybe get her to do some office skills course in any spare time.

exoticfruits Wed 07-Sep-11 09:20:02

I would agree with mummytime-she won't be able to take advantage elsewhere.

puddingbasin Wed 07-Sep-11 11:26:29

My niece did the Btech equestrian course in Wiltshire. She loved the course but couldn't find a job at the end of it. Now working in an admin role. Might be worth considering a course like this as a stepping stone. Even she loses interest in the animal side of things she could progress to an HND in Business and Finance as I believe a lot of the modules are business related.

AMumInScotland Wed 07-Sep-11 13:38:08

Unless you're good at being tough with her, I think the idea of sending her to find work at another stable is the way to go - and if you know the owners, make sure they know this isn't about being nice to her as a favour to you, but about her learning the realities of the job like anyone else would have to.

You clearly understand that being "the bosses spoilt daughter" is not a proper career choice, but she probably hasn't realised yet that you're not going to give her that option, as she won't have any understanding why the worlds can't just revolve around her. 16yo are just like that, unfortunately, which is why they need some "tough love" to wake them up to reality before they can start developing into mature adults.

GrumpyOldHorsewoman Wed 07-Sep-11 14:52:17

Cory, my plan is a combination of both your suggestions.

DH is adamant that he will not send her to another trainer yet because she's just not good enough, so she's doing entry-level work at entry level pay for us atm. She then has to complete a 9 week residential at one of the racing colleges as all under-19 new starters to the industry have to, where she will literally be taught how to muck out - they are tough and the instructors strict.

I have already told her we have enough adolescent girls working for us and that she will be expected to get her own job once she has completed the course. I reckon she'll be begging to go back to school by the new year - the job is far less appealing in December when you wake in the dark to hear rain battering the window and know you've got the next 6 hours working in that! Scrubbing out water buckets when it's -10c is not that glamorous, especially when it's 6am and your hands are chapped.

No mercy!

Jinx1906 Wed 07-Sep-11 15:16:03


I would love that job. Definately beats mine grin

QTPie Wed 07-Sep-11 15:36:52

That sounds like a plan! smile

Very good luck and can you report back please? Would be good to know that this resolves...


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